Our first article! What a fun, scary, and exciting time. This music zine has been a work in progress for many, many months, and to see it finally come to fruition is the greatest feeling in the world! For some history of how and why this all came together let’s turn back the page to the fall of 2016. During this time, my own band was on the verge of releasing an EP, so the promotion wheels were well underway. After sending out e-mail after e-mail hoping for a review, I couldn’t but help feel a little anxious (after all, our debut full length had received little to no coverage, minus some local radio play). Would we have the same result for our follow up EP? After the initial e-mails did not result in even an acknowledgment of receipt I started to wonder if there was an unspoken biased among our little area. How come Lowell area bands tend to get less coverage? Does the 32 miles from Boston prevent our scene from growing? Do we need our own press outlet?
Fast forward a couple months and reviews later, those initial concerns passed and faith was restored that, yes, the outside world does care about music made outside of the hub. In fact, many media outlets, press and radio alike, do a great job at covering things that come across their plate so long as the sound is there and the work is put into getting it acknowledged.
But by then it was too late. The wheels had already spun and the seed was already planted. Maybe Lowell does need a unique media outlet. There are just too many amazing musicians pumping out quality material, too many killer shows, and too much potential to solely rely on the outside world to see what we’re doing. We need to show the world that we may not be the largest city, or have the most clubs, but music runs deep inside the veins of Lowell and the surrounding towns. For UMass Lowell’s strong music programs and radio station, for the various venues to play (each having their own unique identity), for the underground college basement shows, for the mighty Tsongas arena, and for the small local suburban shows in the surrounding towns, this one’s for you. – Joel Gray